Black Friday is here, which as we all know marks the start of the holiday shopping season and the biggest sales period for retailers! Stores will soon be flooded with customers looking to buy that perfect gift for their loved ones. And that leaves retailers scrambling to keep up and find ways to delight their customers and increase holiday sales. That being said, it’s important to point out that 2020 has been a unique year and as a result, the same can be said for the online retail industry…
With many shops being forced to close their doors all around the world, it hasn’t exactly been easy for retailers and this holiday shopping season might look a little different than previous years. As a result, many of these organisations have been taking steps to adapt their strategy towards a more digital one – to keep sales up (and stay afloat).
Take a look at these figures (taken from BusinessInsider.com):
“eMarketer forecasts retail ecommerce sales to make up 18.8% of US retail holiday sales and grow 35.8% YoY [Year-on-Year], a rapid acceleration from the segment’s 15.4% YoY growth in 2019. And with non ecommerce US holiday retail sales expected to fall 4.7% YoY, retailers that want to tap into sales growth this holiday season must focus on ecommerce, like Walmart is doing by emphasizing ecommerce in its holiday plans.”
Delivery companies, get your engines ready…
So how can retailers prepare for the surge of online shoppers and manage to keep holiday sales up? We’ve got some great tips that will get your website on track and ready to go for the holiday season.
In this post, we’ll outline 5 ways you can increase holiday sales on your website.
5 ways to increase holiday sales on your website
We have a number of tips that will help you get your website geared up for all of the online shoppers coming your way. Check them out!
1. Collect customer feedback
The time is now to take full advantage of the voice of customer (VoC)! While gathering and analysing customer feedback is recommended year-round, the holidays are definitely a perfect time to start. There’s so much activity taking place on your website (from research and orientation to purchasing), which also means a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. In order to keep your website’s customer experience up to par with customer expectations, collecting and analysing feedback is therefore critical to your success.
For one, customer feedback helps online retailers find points of friction across all stages of the online journey. As you might’ve noticed, the online customer journey is rapidly evolving. Today these journeys are longer and more complex. There is no singular purchase point but rather multiple touchpoints that must keep customers engaged. The tricky aspect of having so many touchpoints, however, is that online retailers cannot remain hyper-focused on the purchase itself like they have in the past, but rather they must focus on maximising the value of each stage.
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In online retail, this customer journey can be broken down into several Moments of Truth (MoTs). MoTs are crucial as these are moments in which your customer forms an impression of your company or brand, such as searching for products, search result pages, the actual purchase of a product along with receiving it in a certain packaging (which also influences this impression) and after-sales service (returns & delivery). For a smooth on-site journey, these particular moments must be effortless for the customer.
Want to learn more about why customer feedback is vital for ecommerce managers? Check out this post.
2. Leverage segmentation and personalisation
Personalising the customer experience during the holidays is hugely advantageous. Why? Think of it this way. During the holidays, shoppers are rushed into making quick decisions online. But the truth of the matter is, they all end up making purchases based on three factors: convenience, availability and cost. That being said, if you are to put the right information in front of your shoppers at the right moment, you’re golden.
For many businesses, personalisation has become a strategic pillar for their online marketing efforts. For example, something as simple as personalising product recommendations can generate significantly more revenue and conversions than a non-personalised experience.
It’s important to point that when considering how to personalise the online journey during this peak shopping period, retailers should remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to personalisation. Recognising that every shopper behaves differently and has unique expectations is crucial.
Free White Paper: A Digital Feedback-Fueled Approach to Personalisation
A guide to Personalising the Digital Customer Experience (CX) with Online Feedback
3. Plan content ahead of time
Ideally, online retail companies should be planning their holiday content strategy months ahead of time. This includes website content, holiday blog posts, advertising, special offers (i.e. freebies) and more.
Your content will not rank itself overnight. It is up to you to start pumping out meaningful and valuable content for your visitors prior to the holidays so that your content has time to be indexed and hopefully land on the top of SERPs.
Though this step may seem obvious, many retail organisations underestimate the power of content as it pertains to sales. But your content actually serves as a great and powerful asset for increasing holiday sales and boosting conversion rates.
Our advice? Start creating your online holiday content three months ahead of schedule. This will give you time to set the stage for the holiday season, while also giving you room to optimise your existing content (if needed), thus ensuring a ranking higher than your competitors.
The same goes for your advertising efforts. By launching ad campaigns that reach new customers early (let’s say September), your organisation is more likely to keep per-click or per-impression costs lower, while still increasing your number of prospects.
4. Optimise your website for mobile
It’s no secret that mobile is becoming more and more important to the online customer journey. Referred to by Forbes as the new ‘front door to the store’, mobile is now the leading channel for retail. It is no longer a novelty but rather a habit for shoppers to do all of their research online, whether that is to determine pricing, find a physical store in the area or even to purchase an item.
In fact, according to App Annie:
“Mobile commerce this year will hit record highs as online events like Amazon’s Prime Day and Alibaba’s Singles Day may help to extend the holiday shopping season for consumers who are more likely to avoid stores during the pandemic.”
That being said, brands that prioritise their mobile channels (i.e. mobile optimised websites or mobile apps) will certainly be the most successful during the holidays. So it’s time to buckle down and start optimising for a smooth mobile experience.
The question is…how can you maintain a flawless mobile experience with all of this mobile traffic headed your way and keep your customers converting? One of the best ways to do this is via mobile customer feedback. If we look back again at tip #1 (‘Collecting customer feedback’), we know that retailers can gain quite a few insights from collecting and analysing customer feedback on their website. However, the same is true for mobile, whether it’s a website optimised for mobile or a native app.
Here are some great tips for improving the mobile experience with customer feedback.
5. Audit your previous holiday campaigns
With a new wave of challenges this year, it’s always recommended to look back on last year’s performance and see where you did well and where you can improve. By analysing these previous strategies and campaigns, you’ll be less likely to make the same mistakes again.
It’s also helpful to consider customer data. This plays well into your personalisation approach too as you can see and measure how your customer base has changed in the past year and what it is they value. Understanding these elements will help you create holiday messages that click (literally!).
Here’s to a profitable holiday season!
Now you’re ready for the holidays! Each and every one of these tips will help set you up for a successful holiday season. Now it’s up to you to apply them to your website strategy. Good luck and happy holidays!
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Want to learn more about Mopinion’s all-in-1 user feedback platform? Don’t be shy and take our software for a spin! Do you prefer it a bit more personal? Just book a demo. One of our feedback pro’s will guide you through the software and answer any questions you may have.